I have not learnt much yet but I am interested in knowing it quickly. My questions are:

  • Do 見える (to see, to be seen, to be visible, to appear) and 見せる (to show, to display) come from 見る (to look, to see, to watch, to take a look)?
  • If yes, what kind of conjugation are used?

The term "conjugation" I mean here is like another conjugation, for example,

  • 食べる - 食べない
  • 書く - 書かない
  • etc
  • The come from 見る yes. 見る-見えない。見せるー見せない。 Just the same as 食べる-食べない and 食べさせる-食べさせない or 書く-書けない and 書かせるー書かせない。 I am not quite sure of where you are having trouble. Is there a more in depth way you would like this explained? Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 0:27
  • They aren't conjugations; they're separate verbs. However, the meaning of 見える and 見せる seem like they resemble the potential (ability, i.e. "able to be seen" - visible) and causative (let/make, i.e. "let (someone) see" - show), respectively. The actual conjugation for these two forms isn't that far off from these either (would normally be 見れる and 見させる).
    – Blavius
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 0:29
  • 4
    You're mixing up derivation and inflection. They're derived from 見る historically but are now lexical words. They aren't inflectional forms of 見る.
    – user1478
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 7:46
  • 3
    @TheWanderingCoder 「見る-見えない」は誤りです。「食べる-食べない」に相当するのは「見る-見ない」、あるいは「見える-見えない」です。同様に「食べさせる-食べさせない」に相当するのも「見させる-見させない」で、「見せる-見せない」は別です。
    – marasai
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 8:35
  • 1
    @marasai 書いたときなんか変と思った。ありがとうございます。今度寝不足のままで書かないようにします。 Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


見える is euphonic change (or slurring) from 見ゆる, which is a form of 見ゆ, which is a form of 見る(→み) combined with auxiliary verb ゆ.

見せる was a form of 見す, which is combination of aforementioned み and auxiliary verb す.

  • 2
    Isn't 見ゆ > 見える part of the whole shimo-nidan > shimo-ichidan shift? I wouldn't describe it as 'euphonic' at all.
    – Sjiveru
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 19:17
  • 1
    I think that shift is exactly the consequence of euphonic change.
    – user4092
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 0:57
  • 2
    Really? I'd characterise it as a somewhat irregular result of the larger phenomenon of the rentaikei replacing the shuushikei.
    – Sjiveru
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 1:46

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